CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (October 12, 2006) - The ETSU women's tennis team wrapped up the first day of competition at the ITA Southeast Regional championships hosted by the University of North Carolina. Senior Masha Ilina (Kyiv, Ukraine) qualified for the main draw of the tournament during Thursday's qualifying action.
Ilina defeated Ali Piacente of Charlotte, 6-4, 6-3 before defeating Lindsey Ballard of former conference rival Chattanooga, 6-1, 6-1. She is set to take on No. 35 Kim Coventry of Kentucky.
"Today Masha played the best she's played all fall," said Lady Bucs head coach Steve Brooks. "She was really focused and just played really solid and I'm so proud of her."
In other qualifying action, Tara Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.) defeated UNC-Wilmington's Molly Molony, 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 (4) before falling to Alex Jurewitz of North Carolina, 6-2, 6-4. Junior Elena Volobueva (Barcelona, Spain) fell in the first round to Kentucky's Christine Johnson 6-1, 6-0.
"Tara played well, but she really had a hard time closing out the game. Elena has been sick the last few days and it really has affected her play," said Brooks.
In doubles action, Ilina and partner Yevgeniya Stupak (Kyiv, Ukraine) advanced to the round of 32 after defeating Wilmington's Lauren Isenhour and Kayla Schwenk, 8-5. They will face the No. 1 nationally ranked duo of Sara Anundsen and Jenna Long of North Carolina.
Elena Volobueva paired up with Whitney Trotter (Guadalajara, Mexico) and the pair fell to Parker Goyer and Clelia Deltour of Duke, 8-2 and Olya Batsula (Minsk, Belarus) and Tara Byrne also fell in the round of 64 to MTSU's Marlene Chemin and Ann Siljestrom after a hard fought match, 9-7.
"Overall I'm a little disappointed that we didn't have more girls qualify, but Masha is finally playing like Masha and I'm really looking forward to tomorrow's matches," added Brooks.
ETSU will open up main draw play on Friday at 10:00 a.m. when Stupak takes on No. 70 Sara Anundsen of North Carolina while Batsula will take on No. 78 Ashlee Davis of Wake Forest for the second time this season.
Doubles action is set to begin at 3:30 p.m. For all Lady Bucs tennis action visit www.etsubucs.com.